Searching for a way to prevent future shootings like the one in Newtown, some of Connecticut's congressional representives on Sunday called for a national discussion that could lead to a resumed federal ban on assault weapons and other gun control measures.
Some politicians said the fatal shootings of 27 people in Newtown, including 20 children, could prove to be the final straw for some politicians who reflect on the cumulative impact of mass shootings around the country, including the killing of students at
Among the most outspoken was U.S. Rep.
"This is trying to prevent another massacre,'' Larson said. "I could point to shootings in Hartford and
Twelve girls and eight boys were killed in the shooting Friday at
"Seeing those little faces — perhaps that will be the thing that gets everybody to move,'' Larson said. "This continues to be a problem, whether you go back to Columbine'' or other mass shootings.
"Certainly this horrific, brutal tragedy will transform the national debate and spur consideration of more aggressive gun violence prevention measures," Blumenthal said.
The shooter, identified as
"Assault weapons have their primary purpose as killing and maiming human beings by firing highly powerful and very rapid-velocity rounds," Blumenthal said. "Some facts emerging about what happened at the Sandy Hook Elementary School indicate that the killer had enough ammunition essentially to shoot everybody in the school." He said the attack only ended when Lanza fatally shot himself as police arrived. "Otherwise, he could have continued. … He had hundreds of rounds."
"I approach this issue with somewhat unique experience," Blumenthal said, noting his background as a criminal prosecutor and former U.S. attorney for Connecticut, and later as attorney general from 1991 to 2011. As attorney general, Blumenthal said, he successfully defended the state's ban on assault weapons, in effect since 1993, against a legal challenge that rose to the state's Supreme Court.
Blumenthal said he didn't know whether he would try to introduce a bill in the short time remaining in the current lame-duck session of Congress. "The point is not so much to introduce a measure in the last two weeks of this session, but rather to begin a serious debate… which I think will be transformed by the horror and pain felt across the country."
Later, speaking on
In Hartford, there has been no indication yet on how the state legislature might proceed. State Rep.
"At this time, it's just proper to let the immediate families and the state grieve together and then have a discussion down the road later on where we go from here,'' Dargan said. "I'm sure, at the proper time, there will be discussions about the Second Amendment and mental illness and safety.''
"Let's come together to get this right for our children's sake,'' McCarthy said. Later, on CNN, McCarthy said the deaths of the children have changed attitudes around the country.